Swimming beaches at three state parks will be closed this weekend because of E. coli levels higher than the standards set by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for state park beaches.


Swimming beaches at three state parks will be closed this weekend because of E. coli levels higher than the standards set by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for state park beaches.

The public beach at Mark Twain State Park, the day use beach at Truman State Park and Public Beach 1 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park will be closed because the results from water samples drawn Monday showed E. coli levels in excess of department standards.

These beaches will remain closed until subsequent sampling results show E. coli levels below the department’s standard. The beaches at each of these parks have been posted with signs notifying visitors of their closure. The closed beaches are:

• Mark Twain State Park Public Beach had a single-sample maximum result of 260.1 mpn/100ml.  The group camp beach met department standards and will open May 28. Members of the public looking for another state park beach might try the beach at Long Branch State Park, which met department standards.
• Truman State Park Day Use Beach, had a geometric mean result of 162.1 mpn/100ml. The park’s campground beach met department standards and will open May 28. Missourians looking for another state park beach can visit the beaches at Stockton State Park or Hermitage Beach at Pomme de Terre State Park, which both met department standards and are open.
• Lake of the Ozarks State Park Public Beach 1 had a geometric mean of 436.7 mpn/100ml. Public Beach 2 met department standards and will open May 28. Missourians looking for another beach to try can use Public Beach 2. 

The latest information on beach closings at state parks is available online at http://mostateparks.com/beaches/index.asp. Additional information about all temporary closings at state parks is available online at http://mostateparks.com/closings.htm.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, through its Division of State Park, manages 85 state parks and historic sites throughout the state, including 15 with swimming beaches. Water samples are taken weekly during the recreational swimming season to help ensure a safe public swimming area.

E. coli is a bacteria found in the intestinal tract of warm-blooded animals, including humans.  While most strains of E. coli are harmless, some strains can cause gastrointestinal illness.

These bacteria and other pathogens can reach lake water from many different sources, both human and animal.  For some people, such as children, elderly or those with weakened immune systems, even low levels of these bacteria may cause illness.